, , ,

9 Critical Steps for Trial Preparation, by David J. Dempsey, Paralegal Today Magazine (formerly Legal Assistant Today)


I suspect that any paralegal with significant trial experience would have other things to add to this list. But it’s still good advice and a good start. -CCE

[P]aralegals play an indispensable role in the trial preparation process. It’s imperative that, in conjunction with the lead counsel, you design and adhere to a plan to make sure your energies — and those of the entire support team — are focused on the tasks that will contribute most to the success of the trial.

As the final phases of intense trial preparation approach, paralegals can wear many hats: coordinating schedules, monitoring deadlines, helping prepare witnesses and documents, organizing files and exhibits, preparing subpoenas and working with all members of the support team, including expert witnesses, outside vendors, and other legal assistants and attorneys involved in the trial.

Every trial attorney will use the talents of a paralegal in different ways. In my practice, I tend to rely heavily on paralegals and delegate a considerable amount of responsibility to them.

While the following guidelines will not work for every trial team, these are nine critical steps I believe paralegals can take to help make sure when the opening gavel falls at trial, your team is prepared to prevail. . . .